Millennials consume news and information in strikingly different ways than previous generations, and their paths to discovery are more nuanced and varied than some may have imagined according to a new report by the Media Insight Project, a collaboration between the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Among the study’s findings:
- While Millennials are highly equipped, it is not true they are constantly connected. More than 90 percent of adults age 18-34 surveyed own smartphones, and half own tablets. But only half (51 percent) say they are online most or all of the day.
- Email is the most common digital activity, but news is a significant part of the online lives of Millennials, as well. Fully 69 percent report getting news at least once a day — 40 percent several times a day.
- Millennials acquire news for many reasons, which include a fairly even mix of civic motivations (74 percent), problem-solving needs (63 percent), and social factors (67 percent) such as talking about it with friends.
- When Millennials want to dig deeper on a subject, search is the dominant method cited by 57 percent (and it is the one cited most often as useful), followed by news sites (23 percent). Only 7 percent cite checking Facebook to learn more.
- And when Millennials do dig deeper, the most important qualities that make a destination useful are that they know the source well (57 percent) and that this digital source is transparent and rich with references and links (52 percent).
Read the API’s full report, How Millennials Get News: Inside the habits of America’s first digital generation.